staff, November 21, 2011

( Wisconsin won its fifth NCAA Men?s Cross Country Championship on Monday, as four of the five Badger scorers earned All-America status en route to the national crown. All five competing Big Ten teams placed in the top 25 at the national meet as Wisconsin took first, Indiana finished seventh, Minnesota placed 16th, Michigan took 20th and Ohio State landed in 23rd.

Wisconsin XC NCAA Championships
US Presswire

Big Ten Athlete of the Year Mohammed Ahmed led the way for the Badgers, taking fifth place individually. Elliot Krause placed 17th, while Ryan Collins took 23rd, Reed Connor finished 36th and Maverick Darling closed the race in 46th to pace Wisconsin to the title. Ahmed, Krause, Collins and Connor each collected All-America honors after placing in the top 40.

The Badgers compiled 97 team points, giving them a 42-point cushion ahead of the rest of the field. The national championship is the first for Wisconsin since 2005 and the 13th title won by a Big Ten team.

All-American Andy Bayer finished 39th to lead Indiana to its second top-10 finish in as many years. Joining the group of Big Ten All-Americans was Minnesota?s Hassan Mead, who took 34th to help the Gophers to a top-20 finish.

Three Big Ten women's teams finish in top 20

Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State earned top-20 finishes at the NCAA Women?s Cross Country Championships on Monday, bringing the 2011 season to a close. The Nittany Lions placed 13th at the national meet, while the Wolverines took 15th and the Spartans finished 16th. Wisconsin placed 24th and Minnesota took 27th to round out the group of competing Big Ten squads.

Penn State?s Caitlin Lane, the Big Ten Athlete of the Year, earned the top finish of the group of Big Ten runners, taking 16th place en route to All-America honors. Lane finished the 6,000-meter course in 20:04 to help the Nittany Lions to their best team finish since 1996. Lane is Penn State?s 19th All-American and the first since 2009.

Danielle Tauro took 45th individually to lead the Wolverines, while Sara Kroll placed 51st to pace the Spartans.